Picture this: Your elderly parents decide to sell their home of 50+ years and move to a retirement complex just a few miles away. Between the two of them, they believe they’ve worked out a stress free, orderly transition to their new home. In fact, they’ve even gotten as far as picking out some furnishings they want to keep, sending them on the way to the new apartment.
But then, box by box, mom and dad just can’t seem to get through the remaining contents in the house. Knickknacks, odds and ends, gadgets and thingamajigs become obstacles to making a dent in the clutter. And when moving day finally comes, the process of transition becomes especially daunting and extremely overwhelming.
If you’ve experienced this situation or know someone who has, recommending a move management service may have crossed your mind. But how many of them not only look at, but give the downsizing process for our “Greatest Generation” the respect it deserves?
Here are several things to keep in mind when working with and respecting the wishes of older family members or friends:
- Realize the sheer amount of stuff stashed in basements, attics and crawl spaces isn’t just “stuff.” Some of it holds sentimental value, and helping seniors hold onto items of significance should be of the utmost importance.
- Recognize that because seniors were born in and lived through the Depression era, you are helping to work through the detritus of their lifetime, not yours.
- Because a move to a new apartment, home or senior care facility means leaving behind a place with so many memories, understand there will be days of duress during the packing process. Help the senior to cope instead of simply pushing them through this task in order to get it done.
- Don’t make any hasty decisions with valuable items, or force the elder to bump precious belongings to estate sale specialists or appraisers. There will be time after the move to assess anything of value the senior may wish to part with or pass down through the family.
- Never treat a senior relocation as a predicament or a burden. Remember that moving should never just be about clearing out the hodgepodge. Offer advice when you can, and lend an ear to those dealing with the difficult task of boxing up not only things, but recollections and remembrances of a life well lived.
At Sort It Out we strive to treat seniors with the respect they deserve, and to guide families through the process of senior moving in a structured and efficient way that leaves everyone at ease. Contact us for a free senior relocation management consultation.